Am I taking a creative cheat by basing a character on a real person? The Alvah Bessie that I’ve made up is mischievous. He has an agenda and knows that by insinuating himself with the story’s narrator, he’ll get what he wants. That’s the fiction part. I have no idea whether the real one was manipulative or not, and this imagined trait just adds a little color. Otherwise, I’m trying to stick to his real personality quirks, and he had plenty.
Some of the feedback I recently received has been about other characters that come purely from my imagination and who appear briefly in a few scenes or just in name only, but they’ve resonated with a few readers. I’ve been fooling around with the idea of expanding one specific character’s role and see whether she moves the story forward and adds a little mystery. I already see her very clearly in one scene, and she just might appear in only that one, but you never know….
I guess it’s time to take her out and see how well she plays with others.